Jan. 21st, 2010

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1. Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh -- I remember my parents checking this book out from the library when I was in high school or college. I opened it and tried reading the first chapter, but couldn't get into it. Many years later, I came across an LJ post of someone reviewing the series and decided to give the book another shot. I'm glad I did. While the author's prose annoys me a little bit, the story is good. I particularly like how she made the atevi very psychologically different from the humans who crash landed on the planet. They have no concept of friendship, and when the protagonist-- a human-- tries to explain it to his atevi bodyguards, they are completely flummoxed. One of them thinks that the protagonist-- Bren Cameron-- is comparing him to salad because they only word he can find in their language to express liking someone is usually used with food. I'm definitely planning on reading more books from the series. I currently have the sequel, Invader checked out of the library.

2. The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman -- A true story. Most of the Warsaw zoo is destroyed during the Nazi invasion of Poland. The animals that weren't killed by the bombing were shot by for sport by German soldiers. After their zoo is destroyed, the former zookeepers hide Jewish refugees in their home and animal habitats that are still standing...right in sight of a Nazi military post. Very gutsy.

3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult -- The Fitzgerald's daughter is diagnosed with leukemia when she is two years old. The family decides to have another baby girl that will be able to donate cord blood to her, a treatment that will hopefully put the sick girl into remission. Thirteen years later, the older girl goes into kidney failure and needs her sister to donate a kidney. Her younger sister-- who had spent her life being a donor to her sick sibling-- balks about donating her kidney. What follows is a royal mess with no right answers. This is a very sad book; some chapters had me in tears.


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